In 2001, after retiring as a professor of art at the University of Utah, Frank Anthony (Tony) Smith also retired from painting — and the art market.
During his 40-year career as an art teacher at the University of Utah and other universities and workshops, Smith succeeded as a dual-career player in the local and national art markets. He is best known for his innovative, illusionist nod to trompe l’oeil through his groundbreaking use of stenciling, cutting, taping, and airbrushing. “He’s fooling you, folks,” wrote Susan Mendelsohn in an undated essay. “These paintings are fancy bags of cheap tricks. They are trap doors and fake bottoms, things up his sleeve and wires and mirrors … It is an invisible experience in the imagination, which shows us how the world looks through Tony Smith’s eyes. Because of his pictures, we can ride piggyback into his encounter with reality. It’s a very remarkable ride.”